White iPhone 4 kits could send teenage Del Boy to jail

Selling white iPhone 4 parts could bring trouble for a 17-year old entrepreneur, with an accusation that he sold stolen goods threatening him with prison.

A modern-day Derek Trotter has been threatened with jail for setting up a business that turns the normal, black iPhone 4 into the fabled, white iPhone 4.

17-year old New Yorker Fei Lam was responsible for setting up WhiteiPhone4Now. The site sells a DIY kit that allows you to take your iPhone 4 apart and replace the black covers with white ones, reports the New York Observer.

His venture was spotted by various websites including our sister site CNET.com, and earned him cash running into six figures. Lam buys up spare, white iPhone 4 parts provided by a connection with Apple's overseas supplier Foxconn, and ships them off to customers.

But the business has earned him some unwanted attention. Lam received a letter accusing him of selling stolen goods, which could mean a huge fine, or a period in the clink. Lam said, "I got an email from a private investigator accusing me of selling stolen goods, which I'm 100 per cent sure is not the case."

"They are some kind of anti-counterfeit/trademark firm, which sounds ridiculous, similar to what Apple is bringing up to remove White iPhone 4 Listings on eBay. I don't know how this legal stuff works."

Lam doesn't intend to take down the site, and is looking to contact a lawyer.

So far, Lam has sold more than 470 of the conversion kits, with people spending around $300 (about £189), to make themselves the target of muggers everywhere. The conversion process involves you voiding your warranty by taking the device apart, and sticking it all back together with the white iPhone 4 back panel, front panel and home button provided.

The publicity may get Lam more business, especially it is very unlikely that we will ever see a white iPhone 4. It has been delayed more times than we can be bothered to count, and there is currently no sign of it on the Apple store.

Image credit: Whiteiphone4now 

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